TransWorld SURF’s Top Stories Of 2008

The good, the bad, and the ugly from an amazing year of surfing in a way that only TransWorld SURF can do it…Including the 2008 antic’s of Wardo, Kelly, Pipeline, Peter Drouyn, Koby, Stephanie Gilmore, Bruce Irons and many more!

Top 2008 Story 1 of 31

Chris Ward Arrested For Assault In Mammoth

Chris Ward

January: After a night of partying at the popular watering hole Whiskey Creek in the winter resort town of Mammoth Lakes, CA. Wardo got into a tangle with not one, not two, but three girls outside the bar. Arrested for some serious charges, Wardo spent a bit of time in the county jail before going home to San Clemente. Ironically, Wardo had a pretty good year on tour, placing 3rd at the Rip Curl event in Bali and runner up at the Billabong Pipeline Masters.

Click HERE for the original story.


Top 2008 Story 2 of 31

Da Hui Backdoor Shootout Sees Epic Surf

While the WCT suffered from a year of pretty miserable surf in general, the Da Hui Backdoor Shootout, run in early January at Pipeline, got some of the best conditions ever seen for a contest at the infamous break. With a staggering $50,000 first place check on the line, Jamie O'Brien took down Bruce Irons and team Quiksilver took home the team title.

Click HERE for the original story.


Top 2008 Story 3 of 31

Dane Williams' Disappearance During ASR

Dane Williams

One of 2008's saddest and most mysterious stories was the disappearance and subsequent death of Hurley employee Dane Williams. In San Diego for the ASR Trade Show in late January, Dane was last seen leaving a bar downtown and was missing for three days until his body was discovered in a San Diego neighborhood seven miles from downtown with small cuts on it and without personal belongings. To this day, nobody knows what happened to Dane. TransWorld SURF would like to offer our condolences to the family and friends of Dane Williams and we will keep you updated on any news regarding the tragedy.

Go to the Myspace Page dedicated to Dane Williams HERE


Top 2008 Story 4 of 31

Solana Beach Shark Attack Solana Beach Shark Attack David Martin

It was an almost unbelievable headline: "Great White Shark Attack Kills Solana Beach Swimmer". But sadly for the family of 66-year old retired veterinarian David Martin it was true. Swimming just past the surf with a familiar group of friends, Martin was bitten by the shark that was estimated to be around fourteen-feet long several times before passing. Brushing the fear aside, Martin's son, Jeff, took his own sons out surfing in the very spot his father was killed just several days later.

Click HERE for the original story.


Top 2008 Story 5 of 31

Getting Wild On A Dude Cruise

Our most loved trip of the year was no doubt Dude Cruise. Of course when you get the DC surf team and set them loose in 4×4 trucks along the vast and shred-rich coastline of Forster in Australia—you're gonna get the greatness. From Bruce Iron's now legendary truck crash to Dane Reynolds' crazy bag of tricks, this story had everything; we even ran the first ever cover of Dane Reynolds doing a head high backside varial.


Top 2008 Story 6 of 31

Volusia County Breaks Shark Attack Record

Bull Shark

Above: The Bull Shark that didn’t get away.

2008 could easily be considered the year of the shark for Central Florida surfers. With 23 confirmed attacks, Volusia County (home to New Smyrna Inlet where most of the attacks occurred) broke it's own record of 22 confirmed attacks back in 2001. The murky, fish-rich warm waters of New Smyrna Inlet offer some of Florida's most consistent surf, thus creating a hotbed of attacks on surfers. Odds are you'll probably at least see a shark if you're surfing the Inlet, mostly those ferocious Bull Sharks, so it's easy to see why we named it one of the world's most dangerous waves.

Click HERE for the original story.


Top 2008 Story 7 of 31

Wildcards Reign At Chopes

Bruno who? And how do you pronounce "Drollet"? At one of surfing's ultimate gladiator pits, Teahupo'o, the two wildcards took down a who's who list of scalps before the diminutive Brazilian defeated Tahitian local Manoa Drollet in the final to win the Billabong Pro Tahiti. It would prove to be the first time in years that two non-WCT surfers met up in the finals of a WCT event.

Click HERE for the original story.


Top 2008 Story 8 of 31

TransWorld SURF's 100th Issue

TransWorld SURF 100th Issue

In June of 2008, we went ahead and put out our 100th issue and man, it was amazing! Inside, we featured Transworld SURF's Greatest Hits And Miserable Misses, spotlighting our dynamic wit, and utter retardation. Highlights included the return of the Crank Call, Drive Thru New Zealand, a feature on our most killerest covers and so much more. If you don't have this collector's edition issue of Transworld SURF, you should be ashamed.


Top 2008 Story 9 of 31

Paparazzi Vs. Surfers At Malibu

June: Think the lineup at Malibu is cutthroat? Try taking celebrity pictures on the beach. The tabloids and gossip sites were awash with summer news of a brawl that involved a gang of surfers instigating a fight with the paparazzi, who were attempting to snag photos of Matthew McConaughey while he was shooting the movie Surfer, Dude (in a interview with Transworld shortly after, McConaughey stressed he had nothing to do with the fight). As you'll see by the video, it was a lot of yelling, pushing, and a few lame punches. One of the paparazzi guys had a trickle of blood on his face after the altercation. Leave the drama to Hollywood next time, guys.

Click HERE to see the full video.


Top 2008 Story 10 of 31

TransWorld SURF Cali Rally

Spawned by the demented minds belonging to Punker Pat Towersey and TransWorld SURF's Editor In Chief Chris Cote, the first ever Cali Rally saw four teams of surfers rampaging up the coast of California in a mess of male nudity, food fights, grom hazing, skateboard races, SUP battles, surfing in costumes, and a bunch of other shenanigans that are basically unprintable. Congratulations go out to Cali Rally Champions team Billabong consisting of Alejandro Moreda, Johnny Craft, Tommy O'Brien, Ryan Briggs, and team manager Chris Heffner.

Click HERE for full Cali Rally coverage.

Go to Volcom’s Team Video HERE

Go to Hurley’s Team Video HERE

Go to the Surftech Stand Up Paddle Challenge HERE

Go to the Sector 9 Push Don’t Pollute Skate Race HERE


Top 2008 Story 11 of 31

US Open In July

Sometimes the stars show up and own the U.S. Open; other year's stars are made there. This year was the latter, with WQS warrior Nathaniel Curran fighting through a determined crew of pros to post the biggest contest win of his life. Not only did the massive points infusion catapult him into the top spot on the WQS, it kick started his campaign that saw him go on to win the whole qualifying series, which put him on the elite world tour for 2009. Likewise, in the women's event, 14-year-old Malia Manuel stunned the women's ranks, winning the main event over fellow youngster Coco Ho.

Click HERE for full US Open coverage.


Top 2008 Story 12 of 31

TransWorld SURF Wins PacSun Battle Of The Brands

Maybe not the biggest story in the public's eyes, but it sure felt good to kick ass over Ing, ER, Surfline, and Fuel TV to take what is rightfully ours, the 2008 PacSun Battle Of The Brands. See you next year fools!

Click HERE for the original story.


Top 2008 Story 13 of 31


While we're surely missing someone, TransWorld SURF said goodbye to some very special people in 2008 including Colin Wagschal, Bud Browne, Midget Smith, Pete Davi, Peter Troy, Gus Fleming, and Milton Willis. It's always a sad moment when we lose a member of our close-knit tribe, but we like to think these bros are ripping the big wave in the sky.


Top 2008 Story 14 of 31

Rip Curl Search Scores Again; Bruce Wins And Announces Retirement

Yet again, the Rip Curl Search comp went richter. Yes, richter. Held in a not-so-secret location in Bali, Hawaii's Bruce Irons picked apart the long and hollow lefts to earn his first win on the world tour (he won the Pipe Masters in 2001 through the trials). It was all slightly ironic that he announced his retirement in May, a few months previous. Though the win boosted him way up the ratings, he said he'd still be packing it up. Oh well, Bruce, the tour will miss ya.

Click HERE for the original story.


Top 2008 Story 15 of 31

Obama Bodysurfing At Sandy's

A presidential candidate bodysurfing the shorepound at Sandy Beach? We couldn't believe it either, but there it was, the youtube clip of Barack Obama pulling in to closeout barrels with skill and ease. Apparently the voters liked it too as Obama was elected to be President Of The United States Of America several months later. BroBama!


Top 2008 Story 16 of 31

Nat Young's Run Of Wins

Nat Young has officially arrived on the radar as one of the top up and comers to watch out for. The Santa Cruz goofyfooter strung together some major victories in 2008; in June he thwarted the top juniors in the NSSA Nationals to take the coveted Open Men's division, then he again took down many of the same faces at the Rip Curl GromSearch National Finals. He also mixed in a Jr. Pro win this summer at the Ponto Classic, just to spice things up a bit. But hands down the biggest victory for Nat came at the O'Neill Coldwater Classic WQS event on his home turf at Steamer Lane. At only 17, Nat's future is bright, and 2008 will be the year he'll look back on as setting the tone for the rest of his career.


Top 2008 Story 17 of 31

Kelly Wins Biggest Prize Purse In History At Boost Mobile Pro

This had to be the most exhilarating and controversial final in the entire 2008 season; Kelly Slater vs. Taj Burrow. And while the Australian certainly brought his A-game, starting off quick with a 9 and 9.63, it ended up being a lot further than the scores show. Why you ask; well for one, Kelly and Lowers go hand-in-hand, almost as much as Kelly and Jeffrey's Bay. And two, $75,000 was on the table for the winner, the largest prize purse ever in ASP history. With Bob Hurley coughing up that extra $45,000, did you really think Slater wasn't going to add this little feat to his long list? Well the $45,000 addendum certainly brought the level of competition up, and maybe it's high-time surfers started getting paid relative to what other professional athletes in this world pull in.

Click HERE for the original story.


Top 2008 Story 18 of 31

ESA Championships Gets Pumping Surf

In September, when an early season nor'easter combines with a hurricane, the end result is some of the best surf the east coast can deal out. With the Eastern Surfing Association Championships held smack dab in the middle of all this on the Outer Banks, it was easily one of the top east coast contests in recent years. Broken longboards, Highway 12 flooding, winds upwards of 50 mph, and sand in every orifice were just a few of the things these kids endured all for east coast glory. With Vestal and ERGO both coming on as official ESA sponsors for 2009, the ESA will be looking forward to another spectacular year.

Click HERE for full ESA Easterns coverage.


Top 2008 Story 19 of 31

Peter Drouyn’s Sex Change

Peter Drouyn

While most of our younger readership probably hadn't heard of famed Aussie surfer Peter Drouyn, the "Peter Drouyn To Undergo Sex Change Operation" certainly caught their collective eyeballs. Drouyn, who invented the man-on-man format and now goes by the name "Westerly Windina" claims to have been born a woman trapped in man's body. Another famous Aussie surfer, Terry Richardson simply called him a "Drama Queen."

Click HERE for the full story.


Top 2008 Story 20 of 31

Pratte's Reef Dismantled

Pratte's Reef, artificial reef

October: Man can build a lot of impressive things. Computers, planes, skyscrapers, hot dogs… But when it comes to waves, nature is indisputably the best maker of surf breaks. Humans have yet to come close in that arena. One of the many reminders of that came in mid-October when the pieces of Pratte's Reef (named after surf activist Tom Pratte) were forever hauled away from the dormant break Dockweiler, near Grand Avenue in El Segundo, Los Angeles. The large effort, engineered by surfer/ environmentalists with the Surfrider Foundation to bring life to the meager spot (which last saw good conditions more than a quarter century ago), was closed after nine years. An ambitious and admirable undertaking, the reef consisting of 200 giant sandbags on the ocean floor just off shore never produced the waves its creators hoped for and became an environmental concern.

Click HERE for the original story.


Top 2008 Story 21 of 31

Epic Hurricane Surf

September: As one of our New Jersey correspondents Jon Coen once said: "You can tell how good a hurricane season is by the amount of frothing e-mails/ voicemails/ texts you receive regarding it." If that's the barometer, from Gustav to Kyle and everything in between, 2008 was officially a banger. A week in the fall didn't go by without messages boasting all-time career sessions and blown out spaghetti arms. One friend from Florida sounded blissfully confused when he said he'd "surfed like every day for a month straight." Of course, like any group of jaded surf editors, we were slightly skeptical of the claims. That is, until we saw the pictures. JPEG's of reeling empty lineups and locals crammed into perfect, almond-shaped barrels buffeted our inboxes.


Top 2008 Story 22 of 31

Whole Lotta Alaia

When pros like Rob Machado, Dan Malloy, and Chris Del Moro started showing up at beaches worldwide with these skinny little pieces of wood under their arms, heads were turning, especially when they went out and actually surfed well on them. And there began the resurgence of the "Alaia" a modern day take on the early Polynesians surfboard of choice. While some praised the Alaia's s the "Future Of Surfing" TransWorld SURF's Chris and Justin Cote met up with Del Moro and just called it challenging and fun…not the future.

Click HERE for the original story.


Top 2008 Story 23 of 31

Bird Rock Bandits Trial

With many lives ruined and one professional surfer Emery Kauanui dead, the trial of the "Bird Rock Bandits" the men accused of killing Kauanui got underway in 2008 and was finally wrapped up with four out of the five accepting plea bargains while the guy who ultimately killed Kauanui with a punch to the head, Seth Cravens, took his case to trial where he was found guilty of second degree murder. Craven's now awaits sentencing.

Click HERE for full coverage of the Bird Rock Bandits Trial.


Top 2008 Story 24 of 31

The Death Of Ghost Trees

In a battle over the use of personal water crafts (PWCs) in the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) ruled that starting in March 2009 PWCs will be banned throughout the 276-mile sanctuary. The Sanctuary houses famed spots such as Maverick's, Moss Landing, and of course, the ill-fated Ghost Trees. With Ghost Trees being a tow-in only surf spot, the rock-laden jut of NorCal coast off one of the most famous golf courses in America will soon perish as a spot. Though some of the world's greatest hellmen charged Ghost Trees for the last eight years or so, it will take a certified nutcase to try and paddle out without the assistance of ski.

Click HERE for the original story.


Top 2008 Story 25 of 31

Girls Gone Wild

Stephanie Gilmore wasn't the only one making big headlines in the women's realm this year. Young Hawaiians made their fair share of groundbreaking noise as well. High school pals Carissa Moore (she became the youngest winner at the Vans Triple Crown) and Coco Ho (who posted big scores throughout the year) both joined the World Tour ranks. Meanwhile, fourteen-year-olds Malia Manual and Tyler Wright made big headlines respectively. Malia won top honors at the U.S. Open (in a revolutionary teenage final with Ho); and Tyler Wright made history as the youngest girl to win a tour event as a wildcard (at the Beachley Classic in Australia).


Top 2008 Story 26 of 31

Trestles Saved

December: Christmas came a bit early for surfers and environmentalists this year. On December 18th, in what's been called the most powerful and significant political victory for surfing in the U.S., California's Department of Commerce announced it would uphold the California Coastal Commission's ruling that found the proposed extension of the 241 Toll Road inconsistent with the California Coastal Act. And yeah, that translates to "Trestles has been saved." At the helm of battle, on the surf side, were organizations the Surfrider Foundation and Save Trestles. Combined with the incessant hard work and fervent awareness promoted by surfers and environmental activists, as state and federal budgets continued to shrink the 1.1+ billion dollars became increasingly less of a priority. Apart from environmental and financial implications, the ruling also represents something larger on a social scale. "It's the first time the surf industry stood up as a collective force to be heard loud and clear," said Bob Mignona, who was on the front lines with Save Trestles. "This sizable industry proved to itself that when it marshals its forces, it can have political clout. That is a lesson we must not forget!"

Click HERE for the original story.


Top 2008 Story 27 of 31

Koby Abberton Arrested Twice In Hawaii

Koby Abberton Arrested

After getting into a downtown Honolulu scuffle with an off duty policeman in March, Koby served two and half days in jail after pleading guilty during his trial later in the year. Thinking he was done with his troubles, Abberton, who was once accused of obstruction of justice in a murder case his brother Jai was involved in (he killed a rapist), was kicking back in the Analog house at Log Cabins on the North Shore of Oahu when US Immigration authorities barged in to the house and took Koby away on a visa violation and locked up for a few more days before being escorted on to a Sydney-bound plane. Ever the showman with remarkable charisma, Koby gave an interview with Stab Magazine's Sam Macintosh on the plane ride home…check it out HERE.


Top 2008 Story 28 of 31

Stephanie Gilmore Dominates For 2nd Year In A Row

The end of one dynasty always marks the start of another. As six-time ASP Women's World Tour Layne Beachley closed out her competitive career this year, after amassing a record six world titles, another young Aussie follows in her footsteps. Steph Gilmore, 20, clinched the 2008 ASP World Tour at the Roxy Pro, Sunset Beach, HI. "I had no idea this was going to happen today when I woke up this morning," Gilmore said. "Sofia (Mulanovich) went down and then Layne (Beachley) went down and I found myself in the Final with a chance to clinch it." In the final, Gilmore battled it out with Peru's Silvana Lima, who led from the start. But as the waves dropped off during the heat, Gilmore found a wedging right in the fleeting minutes and dismantled it to attain an 8.50 out of a possible 10—and more importantly, the 2008 ASP Women's World Title. The win marks Gilmore's second World Title in her second year on tour: "two for two." "The second one definitely feels better than the first one," she said.

Click HERE for the original story.


Top 2008 Story 29 of 31

Parko's Perfect Heat And Triple Crown Win

Mr. Smooth, Joel Parkinson had a hell of a Hawaii season. For his first act, he scored two tens in his round three heat at the Pipe Masters to earn a perfect heat score of twenty out of twenty points. Parko's only the second person ever to do this, Slater was the other at the finals of the 2005 Teahupo'o event (back when the top three wave scores used to be counted, Shane Beschen did it at Kirra in 1996, scoring a 30 out of 30). For an encore, Parko went on to garner enough overall points to win this year's Vans Triple Crown title. He'd sniffed at it a few times before, coming in runner up, but managed to take the whole enchilada. Not a bad year ender for the Coolangatta kid, joining two very exclusive lists, and finishing the year rated fourth in the world.

Click HERE for the original story.


Top 2008 Story 30 of 31

Kelly's Domination

It's apparent that at the age of 36 there is no slowing down for Kelly Slater. The man, if he really is human, continues to blow minds, break records, write books, and shit on the preconceived norms of aging. If you have yet to recognize Kelly as the greatest surfer of all time you're either blind or Australian, as 2008 saw Kelly furthering his living legacy to new heights. Six wins this year, some 10 point waves sprinkled throughout, a switch barrel in Bali, and winning the Pipe Masters on one of the smallest boards ever surfed in 8-10 foot Pipeline were just a few of the things that exhibited Kelly's sheer domination in '08. With 9 World Titles you can bet your ass he wants 10, no matter what kind of rumors get thrown around this winter, 10 is a nice, round number. Our guess: Kelly gets what Kelly wants, just like Kelly does in the water what only Kelly can do. Number 9 is only another notch in Kelly's belt, and that belt is continually getting bigger and bigger.

Click HERE for an extensive review of Kelly Slater’s 9th World Title season.


Top 2008 Story 31 of 31

Kelly's Winning Pipe Board

Kelly's Winning Pipe Board

Normally, one certain surfboard wouldn't be a story, but as we all know, Kelly Slater is far from normal (or even human). But when Kelly Slater waxed the competition at the Billabong Pipeline Masters on a self-designed hybrid of a normal gun and a fish, heads were shaking and wondering what the story behind the board was. We got the scoop HERE.